West Ham United Foundation Lower School Football Academy
In September 2019 BCHS launched its Lower School Football Academy Programme, for boys and girls, led by the West Ham United Foundation Community Hub Officer. In order to secure a place on the programme all students are invited to take place in our school-based trials. These take place each year for all students looking to join our School in our Year 7 September intake.
The students who are successful in making the programme will have the unique opportunity to attend regular training sessions throughout Year 6. This includes bespoke training with a West Ham United Coach, and these sessions will continue throughout Year 7 and will be in addition to all of the extra-curricular activities we already offer as a school. As part of the WHU Foundation’s School Academy Programme all participants will have access to additional opportunities, such as Stadium Tours, Tournaments with the West Ham Player Pathway squads and much more.
As we are all aware, Women’s football is on the rise and, here at BCHS, we are proud to be a part of the Female Pathway within West Ham United. Our School Football Academy provides a Girl’s Squad with all of the opportunities available above including links through the Player Pathway to the Women’s Academy. This includes direct links to the Ladies First Team through our new Post 16’s Girls Programme launching in September 2021.
Our Lower School Football Programme gives students the fantastic opportunity to enhance their sporting passions in partnership with a Premier League and Women’s Super League Club.
In 2019 we held a Christmas Party for our Year 6 Academy students along with the ‘Any Old Irons’ pensioners and special guest West Ham and England legend Carlton Cole. It was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the mix of generations and bring everyone together to celebrate Christmas and share in their passion of football. We had everything from games of bingo, school performances, sing-along sessions, and a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. By the end of the day everyone was feeling festive and buzzing with excitement as you can see from Carlton Cole’s twitter feed.
We loved the inter-generational mix this gave to our students and had lots of exciting events in the pipe line to continue the bond between the ‘Any Old Irons’ and our Lower School Academy. Unfortunately, due to Coronavirus these were unable to take place last year but we wanted to ensure the connection was not lost. We were aware that a lot of the Any Old Irons would be alone this Christmas so we decided to do a Christmas Hamper collection in collaboration with a local primary school. The West Ham Foundation helped us to deliver the hampers to the community.
As a result of our Charity Christmas Hamper collection, our Year 7 WHU Football Academy students were surprised to receive a live video call from West Ham’s Issa Diop and the Any Old Iron’s. The call was arranged by the West Ham Foundation as a massive thank you to all the children for their kind donations. The pensioners were overwhelmed by the generosity of our students and their families.
During the call our students were given the opportunity to ask Issa Diop questions about his footballing career and the Any Old Irons were able to thank the students in person for their hampers. It was lovely to see the pensioners reconnecting with the students they met last year and reliving some of their old memories. For some of the more vulnerable pensioners our charity hampers were the only presents they received over Christmas which made our donations even more special.
It is important to both BCHS and the West Ham Foundation to keep this connection alive and we are looking forward to all the exciting events and opportunities that are to come.
Christmas Party Feedback:
“On behalf of Any Old Irons I want to thank you once again for a truly wonderful day. We were all so happy because you, your pupils and the Year 6 pupils treated us like Royalty. It was wonderful talking to them and hearing about their experiences. If you could let the primary schools know how impressive their pupils were, we would really appreciate it. The concert, and community singing lifted our heart and spirits. I hope the pupils enjoyed it as much as we did. Once again, thank you.”
“I would like to thank you for the wonderful day you invited us be part of today. Everything was perfect, so relaxed and great fun. It was a fantastic experience to meet pupils of different ages and at different stages of their education, and hear their aspirations, especially in the field we love & support. I found the children so polite, yet forthcoming. The tap, ballet & modern dancing were a joy to watch. The orchestra & singing were music to the soul as well as the ear. Thank you for the lunch & the welcome -I`m still smiling. Happy Christmas & all the best for 2020.”
“I would like to say THANK YOU! My son had a fantastic time today & was telling me all about it on the way home. What a great community event. Can you say a big thank you to everyone go helped put it together too?”
Christmas Hamper Feedback:
“Thank you to everyone involved in putting together the Christmas hampers. It meant so much to receive this gift. My husband is in a care home and I am unable to see him so this will probably be the only gift I receive this year.”
“Thank you for my hamper. It was lovely to see the lengths you have all gone to keep in touch. I particularly liked the handmade Christmas card and will look forward to my mini Christmas pud on Christmas day.”
“Thank you! This has been such a hard year for everyone and it was lovely to think you had taken the time to think of us. I can’t express how much this means. Thank you.”
How to apply for our West Ham United School Football Academy Programme?
In order to register your interest in our Year 6 West Ham Football Academy please download and complete the below form and email this to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020 WHU Year 6 Football Academy
Academy Trials 2020
What a fantastic turnout for our inaugural BCHS/West Ham Foundation School Football Academy trials for Year 7 (2020-21) with approximately 30 Year 6 boys and girls attending from 8 different primary schools. The standard was very high and showed a promising start to the new journey ahead. Well Done everyone!
All participants will be receiving a letter soon stating if they have been successful in getting a place on the programme.
We have been informed that some students were unable to attend the initial trial session due to prior commitments. Therefore to avoid disappointment we have put on a second trial date for the 20th November for the students affected. Everyone who had already registered an interest should have received an email regarding this and if you would like to take part then please contact us as soon as possible to register your place.
Video Call with Issa Diop
As a result of our Charity Christmas Hamper collection, our Year 7 WHU Football Academy students and Warley Primary school were surprised to receive a live video call from West Ham’s Issa Diop and the Any Old Iron’s pensioners. The call was arranged by the West Ham Foundation as a massive thank you to all the children for their kind donations. The pensioners were overwhelmed by the generosity of our students and families. The call was a massive boost to all the children involved.
During the call our students were given the opportunity to ask Issa Diop questions about his footballing career and the Any Old Irons were able to thank the students in person for their hampers. For some of the more vulnerable pensioners these hampers were the only presents they received over Christmas which makes our charity donations even more special.
It was lovely to see the Any Old Irons reconnecting with the students they met back in 2019 at the West Ham Christmas party we hosted for them and Carlton Cole. We are looking forward to inviting them back into the school later this year and continuing with the intergenerational mix that is so important to both BCHS and the West Ham Foundation.
Due to the Coronavirus, the last year has been particularly hard for everyone and our WHU Academy students have missed out on many exciting opportunities, like stadium visits and training sessions, etc. We are hoping 2021 will prove to be a different year and we are planning to put on as many events as possible for them to enjoy. More details will follow once we receive the latest government guidance.